2005 General Plan

The Watsonville 2005 General Plan was adopted by City Council in 1994. The Draft Watsonville Vista 2030 General Plan was the subject of litigation and has not replaced this document. (On October 14, 2014, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 137-14 rescinding the approval of the 2030 General Plan to comply with Appeals Court ruling.)

General Plan Update

The City is embarking on a multi-year effort to update its General Plan with a new planning horizon of 2050. Please visit the General Plan 2050 website to learn more and stay up to date on plans for Watsonville's future.

What is a General Plan?

California state law requires each city and county to adopt a general plan “for the physical development of the county or city, and any land outside its boundaries which in the planning agency’s judgment bears relation to its planning” (Gov. Code § 65300). The general plan expresses the community’s development goals and embodies public policy relative to the distribution of future land uses, both public and private. As a comprehensive, long-range statement of a city’s development policies, the general plan sums up the City’s philosophy of growth and preservation, highlights what is important to the community, and prescribes where different kinds of development should go. Required elements include land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, and safety (Gov. Code § 65302). In 2021, the safety element was amended by incorporating by reference the 2020 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The City's general plan also includes elements on urban design, children, recreation and public facilities. 

Upon updating two or more elements in the general plan, the City will also adopt an environmental justice element that identifies disadvantaged communities within the city and sets forth goals, policies, and objectives that: (a) reduce the unique or compounded health risks in disadvantaged communities by means that include, but are not limited to, the reduction of pollution exposure, including the improvement of air quality, and the promotion of public facilities, food access, safe and sanitary homes, and physical activity; (b) promote civic engagement in the public decision-making process; and (c) prioritize improvements and programs that address the needs of disadvantaged communities. The City has begun the preparation of a new environmental justice existing conditions report

General Plan